Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Here In 'No Man's Land' (a.k.a. Long Island)

Posted on Fri, May 28, 2010 @ 01:11 AM
billy joel,no man's land,eric martin,long island

 

The first time I heard Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land off his River of Dreams album, I was seventeen years old. It was very early in the morning on my way to football practice the summer before my senior year of high school. It struck a chord in me that his song about one of the loves of his life was so “un-illuminated.” He really does not paint a pretty picture of Long Island with his lyrics. Backed up by very heavy drums and an almost unfinished synthesizer, it was the first song on the new album I had been waiting four years to hear. I didn’t exactly understand why he would choose to kick off four years of silence with such an angry song about an object of his affection.

A few months later was I able to hear him play that song live at the Nassau Coliseum on New Year’s Eve 1993. Billy kicked off the concert that night with it. It sounded amazing. His songs always sound better live.  But still, I did not understand the dark images he was portraying to his audience. That was over 16 years ago.

I have been an avid Billy Joel fan since as far back as I can remember. On my 8thbirthday my parents gave me the greatest gift I have ever received - tickets to his concert on my birthday. Since then I have consumed his music, much to the ribbing of my friends, family and co-workers. I probably have 30+ Gigs of just his music on my portable hard drive.  Even though I ate his music and memorized all the words, it was not until my early twenties that I shed my cocoon and fully understood his lyrics. I finally realized that they were not just words to go in rhythm with his piano. He was actually saying something. Still to this day, probably the greatest thing any fan of a band or musician can say is that, it feels like he is speaking directly to me.

I bring up this song for this post for a reason. I heard it today for the first time in a while, and it made me think about all the times I’ve listened to it before. In my opinion, as a whole, Long Island is still the same place Billy Joel was screaming about almost 17 years ago. Really to me, not much has changed. The skies over the Island are is still clouded with uncertainty. Go through the lyrics with me, they could just have very easily been written yesterday.

I’ve seen those big machines come rolling through the quiet pines
Blue suits and bankers with their Volvos and their valentines
Give us this day our daily discount outlet merchandise
Raise up a multiplex, and we will make a sacrifice
Now we’re gonna get the big business
Now we’re gonna get the real thing
Everybody’s all excited about it

We have turned into a society of gluttonous, combative “consumer-holics”, sliced up into a million demographics by the mainstream media and government agencies for their own profiteering. The “blue suits and bankers” have taken us down a slippery road of economic turmoil our country hasn’t seen in 70 years.  Our financial system epitomizes the “Needs of the Few Are Greater Than the Needs of the Many” idealism which has become prevalent in our society. And I’m ashamed to say, I was probably leading the gluttonous charge on a few nights, as we all have at some point or another I’m sure. New York’s government is Ineptitude’s Poster Boy. Everyone wants their way, just because it is their way, and nothing gets accomplished. Hopefully Billy Joel’s song Miami 2017: Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway does not go down in the annals of history as a prophecy.

There ain’t much work out here in our consumer power base
No major industry, just miles and miles of parking space
This morning’s paper says our neighbor’s in a cocaine bust
Lots more to read about Lolita and suburban lust
Now we’re gonna get the whole story
Now we’re gonna be in prime time
Everybody’s all excited about it

You just have to change the line about the Lolita (Amy Fisher) for any of the Dina Lohans that have tried to make themselves famous through the tasteless medium of Fake Reality TV.

I see these children with their boredom and their vacant stares
God help us all if we’re to blame for their unanswered prayers
They roll the sidewalks up at night, this place goes underground
Thanks to the condo kings there’s cable now in Zombietown
Now we’re gonna get the closed circuit
Now we’re gonna get the Top 40
Now we’re gonna get the sports franchise
Now we’re gonna get the major attractions

Billy grew up on the streets of Long Island. His parents were divorced. He knows what it is like to be an easily influenced, Long Island youth. Just listen to his song Captain Jack. That should speak volumes. There is nothing to do at night if you are underage on Long Island. Nothing but movie theaters and street corners to mold these young minds if you wanted to venture away from the TV or internet for a few hours. Kids don’t even play outside in the street anymore. I think my friends and I were the last age group of kids that played outside without the need to be setup on a “Play Date.” We would leave our houses at 10:30am and didn’t return until 10pm. There were always 8-15 kids playing the popular seasonal sport out on the street in front of someone’s house…not anymore. When he wrote this song, his daughter was still young…young enough for him to be concerned with what it would be like for her growing up on the Long Island he was observing.  And all these years later, much doesn’t seem to have changed. Maybe that is why Billy Joel has not written an album of new material since the last one almost 17 years ago. Maybe he is tired of being the voice of Long Island, only to have his message fall on the deaf ears of people who are blinded by his “Rock Star” status and are only interested in the photo op.

The Refrain and ending of Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land goes like this…

Who remembers when it all began
Out here in no man’s land
Before the whole world was in our hands
Out here in no man’s land
Before the banners and the marching bands
Out here in no man’s land
Low supply and high demand
Here in no man’s land

That’s a good question. Who remembers when it all began? Well, I certainly don’t. My parents were still a few years from being born when Long Island became the first suburb of America after World War II. The members of ‘Our Greatest Generation’ that are still with us, will not be around for too much longer. Take the time to ask one next time you are in their company. But I’m sure it was a time that was filled with endless possibilities in their eyes. Before all the Pomp and Circumstance and giant shiny carrots, this was No Man’s Land, vast sprawls of potato fields surrounded by bright blue water. Having just faced down the greatest evil the world had ever known, that generation of Long Islanders reached for the stars and landed humans on the moon among many other great achievements.

When I heard Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land today, for the first time since I was fully able to comprehend what he was talking about, I do not share his opinion of a dark and “un-illuminated” Long Island. Yes, shades of gray still cover the Long Island skyline, but in all its turmoil, it has created a Long Island filled with endless possibilities. It has made some Long Islanders start to think outside the box. They believe in their hearts that there has to be a better way to do things then the way we have been going about our business. There is a select group of individuals and organizations that in their own way have started to shine their lights through the darkness to lead Long Island into a bright and sustainable future.

These individuals and organizations are vital to Long Island if we are going to pick ourselves up and lead the charge into the 21st Century. Their work already has been instrumental in the progress Long Island has made into a greener economy. To me, Green = Smart. It’s also the first movement to promote the “Needs of the Many Are Greater Than the Needs of the Few” idealism that must become our mantra if we are to be an example for the rest of the country to follow. It is the first movement that is taking a look at what we have become, the damage we are on pace to dump on our children’s laps, and the first to realize that somewhere along the line, we are going to have to pay the price.

I would like to let everyone else know what I have seen over the last few years that has given me hope, hope that we are not really like the MTV-style society that we have become. This is the next Greatest Generation of Long Islanders who are poised to lead our region down the path to sustainability and be a model for the rest of the country and future generations of Long Islanders to follow.  

Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone - Steve is the Founder and President ofThe Babylon Project, and he helped create the Town of Babylon’s nationally recognized Long Island Green Homes Program.

Town of Babylon’s Sammy Chu - Board member for the Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-LI) - He also helped create Town of Babylon’s nationally recognized Long Island Green Homes Program.

Vince Capogna and the USGBC-LI Executive Board - Vince Capogna, President, and the U.S. Green Building Council Long Island Chapter’s Executive Board have been instrumental in leading the charge in the green building industry on Long Island. The USGBC LEED rating system is the premiere green building rating system in the country. The purpose of the Long Island Chapter of the US Green Building Council is to mirror and advance the core purpose of the US Green Building Council locally. It’s also to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island - Sarah Lansdale was selected as Sustainable Long Island’s second Executive Director in September 2004. Under her leadership, the organization has engaged thousands of community leaders and elected officials to rethink, rebuild and renew communities across Long Island, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of investment, hundreds of units of housing, and dozens of new businesses.

Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of the Women Economic Developers, was appointed by the Governor to sit on the MTA Sustainability Commission, and was appointed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to the Suffolk County Planning Commission. She co-produced an Emmy-nominated documentary Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island. Sarah is a 2006 graduate of the Energeia Partnership and was honored as a Community Leader by the 100 Black Men of Long Island and most recently by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko - Supervisor Lesko, in only a short term in office, has become a champion for the future of Long Island and The Town of Brookhaven by creating The Town of Brookhaven Comprehensive Plan 2030 and just recently his launch of the “Blight into Light” initiative.

LIPA CEO Kevin Law - Here are just some of the amazing things Kevin has accomplished at the help of Long Island’s Power Authority.

·       LIPA CHIEF KEVIN LAW, TO UNVEIL NEW FEDERAL PLAN TO ALLOW LIPA TO REFINANCE BILLIONS IN DEBT – WOULD SAVE LI’ERS HUNDREDS ON THEIR ELECTRIC BILLS AND LOWER THEM BY 5 PERCENT

·       LIPA Applies for over $17 Million in Stimulus Funding For Renewable Energy Projects

·       LIPA and Smithtown Schools Announce Largest School Solar Project on Long Island

·       LIPA Proposes 2010 Operating & Capital Budget Which Stabilizes Rates in Volatile Energy Market and Expands Investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

·       LIPA Increases Funding for Renewables and Creates New Solar Thermal Program

·       LIPA CEO Kevin Law Announces $12.5 Million Award for Rte 110 “Smart Energy Corridor”

·       LIPA Approves the Largest Solar Energy Project in New York State

RELI - Renewable Energy Long Island - RELI is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization promoting clean, sustainable energy use and generation for Long Island. RELI seeks public participation in energy policy decisions to encourage energy efficiency, use of renewable energy sources, and protection of our environment, economy, and public health.

Ted Reiff, Founder/President of The ReUse People of America - The ReUse People (TRP) are relatively new to the Long Island Community and not many people have heard of TRP or Ted Reiff. His not-for-profit organization is the leading building deconstruction and building material reuse organization in the United States. Through their efforts, The ReUse People have diverted over 260,000 tons of valuable construction and demolition waste from fragile overburdened landfills back into our economy. He will teach us how our old buildings are a valuable resource for other Long Islanders. With Long Island’s having only 3 working landfills, Ted Reiff and The ReUse People will be a vital cog in the wheel that will shape the future of Long Island.

KIOLI - Keep It On Long Island - KIOLI is a catch phrase. It is an acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things.

It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents, businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive, skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come, and kioli.org is where it resides. 

Now I can see what these organizations and individuals are accomplishing, but that is only because I am looking. Their work has not cleared out all the darkness. There is still a long way to go. That will not happen until the rest of Long Island can start to see who the leaders of Long Island really are. I believe that if Billy Joel could see what I see, it would inspire him to break 17 years of silence and write a less ominous album of songs about the land we all love, our home, Long Island.

 

Tags: ted reiff, the reuse people, billy joel, no man's land, Steve Bellone, sarah lansdale, reli, long island, building material reuse, green, building deconstruction, trp, green building industry, usgbc-li, Sammy Chu, lipa ceo kevin law, sustainable long island, renewable energy long island, vince capogna

From ReedConstructionData.com - Building Deconstruction

Posted on Wed, May 26, 2010 @ 12:55 AM

reedconstructiondata.com,building deconstruction,building material reuse

 www.reedconstructiondata.com

March 30, 2010 - Phil Waier, PE, LEED AP

A component of the “Green” movement is building deconstruction. Rather than demolishing a structure and delivering the debris to landfill, building deconstruction provides for the careful removal and reuse or recycling of building materials. The materials can be stored and reused on the existing site thus eliminating transportation charges. The alternative is to sell or donate the deconstructed materials.

Typical materials considered for deconstruction include the following:

  • Interior doors and frames
  • Structural framing
  • Casework
  • Brick masonry
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Wood strip flooring
  • Roof sheathing boards and metal roofing

The decision to deconstruct is based upon several factors; the first is a site assessment. This involves evaluating the materials based upon type, quality level and condition, quality and installation method. Another aspect of site assessment is the adequacy of the site to store and clean/process the materials. The second consideration is the potential market for the materials if they are not being reused for the project. The current price for new materials must be compared to the potentials sale price of the deconstructed material. That price is based upon the condition and quality of the deconstructed material. The presence of local salvage retailers and the ability to market and cost of transporting the materials is also a consideration. Safety is a key concern in the planning and executing of a deconstruction project.

Aside from the LEED incentives/credits for deconstruction there are a number of other reasons to deconstruct.

  • Newer replacement materials may be scarce or of lesser quality. An example is the structural timbers used in many old mill buildings. These timbers are frequently larger and longer that those commercially available today. Also their old growth strength is greater than wood from newer forests.
  • Demolition disposal costs continue to escalate as solid waste land fills are closed and new land fills are plagued by permitting issues.
  • Commodities such as steel, copper and aluminum are becoming more expensive and substantial energy can be saved by recycling.

A final consideration in building deconstruction is schedule. The deconstruction process is more labor intensive than demolition, therefore time must be provided in the construction schedule to allow for the process.

In the final analysis the cost, time, and environmental considerations will be the determining factors.

Tags: environmental, building material reuse, reedconstructiondata.com, environment, building deconstruction, donate, salvaged materials

My Response to Editorial on Town of Brookhaven's 'Blight into Light'

Posted on Thu, May 20, 2010 @ 05:11 PM

Dear Supervisor Mark Lesko,

I have just finished reading the Cablevision Editorial on your "Blight into Light" project for the Town of Brookhaven.  Let me commend you on a great idea and the amazing job you have done in only a short time in office.  I hope other town leaders follow you down the path of sustainability sooner rather than later.   

My only concern with your plan is what are you going to do with the old homes and buildings?  How are they going to be removed?  The "Blight into Light" project is great for the revitalization of these neighborhoods and the Long Island community but I feel there will be a blight on the "Blight into Light" projects if current demolition practices are used to remove the old structures from these communities. 

Traditional bulldozer style demolition hurts the very Long Island Community that you are trying to revitalize.  Buildings, like everything, have a life-cycle.  When a building is no longer fit for use and has to come down, does this happen just as all of its parts and components wear out?  Most old buildings have some systems and building materials with useful lives.  The trick is efficiently identifying the materials and getting them out of the building.  When redeveloping a Long Island property, it is difficult to see the old buildings as anything but obstacles.  Also, it is important to consider whether their contents and/or components may actually be resources that have net value.

Current demolition practices are not sustainable.  They are also not in the best interest of Long Island and our environment.  They hurt our community by over-burdening our already fragile landfills with valuable building materials that are not at the end of their life cycles just because the homes and buildings they make up are.  Those same building materials can benefit a fellow Long Islander who might not be able to afford brand new building materials. 

Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse on Long Island is the systematic dismantlement of building materials and building components, specifically for re-use, recycling, and waste management.  It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building materials by the most expedient means and a majority of the demolished materials are hauled to a landfill for disposal.  Building Deconstruction is new by name, but not by practice, as the recovery and reuse of building materials in order to build new structures is as old as buildings themselves.  Reuse of materials might be considered one of the "original" green building techniques, along with the use of local materials.  In the pre-industrial era, building material conservation was driven by the high intensity of the labor effort required to harvest and prepare them.  Reuse of materials provided an economic advantage. In the mid-to-late 20th century, the emergence of machine-made and mass-produced materials, chemically complicated materials, and the relatively low cost of oil allowed this basic idea of "waste not, want not" to fall from usage in the creation of the built environment. 

We live in a different world now.  The cost of oil is out of control and puts a heavy burden on some Long Island families who have to pay the increasing gas prices.  And there is no end in sight to our dependence on foreign oil.  Dumping fees are continually going to rise.  Especially as the number of landfills decrease because of capacity issues and remediation is needed on the sites that are still in use.  The reusable building materials from your "Blight into Light" projects could be worth a significant tax write-off when donated to a not-for-profit organization on Long Island like The ReUse People (TRP) and receive a tax-deductible receipt to help offset the overall cost of the "Blight to Light" projects.  These services are among the first steps in the green building process and provide a faster payback and better return-on-investment than any other product or service offered by the green building industry on Long Island.

The ReUse People and their Long Island TRP-Certified Building Deconstruction contractor, Advanced Restoration Corporation, aim is to recycle or reclaim for reuse up to 80% of the structure rather than dumping the materials into Long Island landfills for the next generation of Long Islanders to deal with.

I truly believe Sarah Lansdale, the Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island, when she said, "With the attention and focused resources provided by elected officials such as Supervisor Lesko, we can revitalize our communities and ensure that Long Island is prosperous and beautiful for generations to come."  Please Supervisor Lesko I implore you, don't leave a blight on the "Blight into Light" projects, choose building deconstruction and building material reuse over current demolition practices and help me turn it into a force for the sustainable development and future of Long Island. 

Tags: the reuse people, long island, building material reuse, blight into light, sustainable development, landfills, dumping fees, community revitalization, advanced restoration corporation, building deconstruction, long island community, trp, brookhaven town supervisor mark lesko, cablevision editorial, sustainable, green building industry, recycle building materials, long island landfills, over-burdened landfills, cost of oil

Learn How EPA Lead Regulations Impacts New York Insurance Industry

Posted on Sun, May 16, 2010 @ 09:14 PM
New York Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member Company Long Island
 
 

New York DKI Member Companies Host Seminars On How the New EPA Lead Regulations Will Impact the Insurance Industry on Long Island and New York City.

In April 2010, new rules on lead contamination developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went into effect for contractors that disturb painted surfaces in buildings constructed prior to 1978. These Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RPR) regulations require all contractors to:

  • Become an EPA certified firm
  • Have certified lead renovators on staff
  • Check painted surfaces to determine if they contain lead
  • Utilize specific types of engineering controls, containments and work practices
  • Perform specific cleaning tasks, verification and test their work area

Unfortunately, these new EPA Lead Regulations will have a major impact on the Insurance Industry on Long Island and New York City.  Insurance Companies, Insurance Agents, Insurance Brokers, and Insurance Adjusters will all have to adjust to the new regulations that are now required of restoration contractors on property damage claims in structures built before 1979.

Please visit New York DKI Member Company Website for the Lead Seminars

Register In Advance.  Registration is Mandatory.

                                                On the Web:     http://www.dki.li/

                                                By Phone:         1-800-734-9947

                                                By Email:   emartin@advancedrestoration.com

Dates: Thursday June 17th, 2010 @ Westchester Hills Golf Club

           Friday June 18th, 2010 @ Brookville Country Club

Time:  Registration @ 8:30am

            Seminar @ 9am - 1pm

            Lunch @ 1pm - 2pm

Continental Breakfast and Snacks Served

 
New York DKI Member Companies are fully trained and certified to handle ALL lead issues that may arise on property damage claims. 
 
 
About New York DKI Member Companies – The New York Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member Companies sponsoring the seminars on the new EPA Lead Regulations service Long Island and New York City.
 
 

advanced restoration corporation dki member company long island new york city

 

All Pro Cleaning and Restoration

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                                    Branch Restoration

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                                    Milro Restoration

                            milro restoration dki member company long island new york city

Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) is a network of the leading, independent property damage restoration contractors across North America.  DKI member companies provide full service to their customers: Emergency response, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, returning damaged property to pre-loss condition fast and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to their consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.

 disaster kleenup international,dki,disaster restoration,property damage experts

About Dr. Michael Pinto: CSP CMP CEO Wonder Makers Environmental, Inc.

dr. michael pinto wonder makers ceo,epa lead certified trainerWonder Makers Environmental, Inc., a manufacturing and environmental consulting firm that specializes in identification and control of asbestos, lead, IAQ, mold, industrial hygiene, and chemical problems. Mr. Pinto is the author of over 150 published articles and several books including, Fungal Contamination: A Comprehensive Guide for Remediation. He completed doctoral course work in environmental engineering and holds numerous certifications in the environmental and safety areas including Certified Safety Professional and Certified Mold Professional.

 

Dr. Michael Pinto Wins Restoration Industry Association’s (RIA) Martin L. King Award 
 
Given annually, the Martin L. King Award recognizes an individual's exceptional service and dedication to the restoration industry. Pinto was honored for his efforts as an industry instructor on a variety of environmental and restoration topics, his monthly column in Cleaning & Restoration magazine as well as articles in other industry publications, his innate ability to take complex issues and distill them down to their essential points, his unwavering efforts to consistently advocate for "doing things right," and for supporting the industry and practices that truly do "make it better" for everyone.
Martin King, CR, ASA, RIA's technical advisor and creator of the Certified RestorerSM program said, "In this instance, instead of honoring the recipient with this award, the award is honored by its recipient."
 

Tags: long island, dki, insurance industry new york city, branch restoration, milro restoration, advanced restoration corporation, disaster kleenup international, insurance industry, insurance industry long island, new york city, epa lead regulations, epa lead regulations impact on insurance industry, white plains, westchester county, dki member company, all pro cleaning and restoration

TRP Kitchen & Bath Deconstruction Program a Win-Win For Long Island

Posted on Wed, May 12, 2010 @ 03:41 PM

 

In January, 2010, The ReuSe People of America (TRP) rolled out their new new TRP Kitchen & Bath Deconstruction and Removal Program.

For the same cost as traditional smash-and-discard demolition, Advanced Restoration Corporation, a DKI Member Company, and The ReUse People will remove your kitchen cabinets and appliances, leave the project in a clean dust free condition and provide a tax-deductible receipt for the donated reusable items.

Here is how it works:

  1. You call Eric Martin at (631) 831-2005 and request a Kitchen Removal Order Form
  2. The form is immediately e-mailed or faxed to you.
  3. You complete the form, computing the easy cost formula to calculate total removal costs.
  4. You send the completed form back to TRP by email or fax.
  5. TRP calls to arrange a site visit to finalize agreement and schedule work. (Removal can usually be completed in one day.)
  6. A specially-trained TRP crew shows up on the agreed upon day, completes the work, leaves the kitchen ready for cabinet and appliance installation, and presents you with the donation receipt.
  7. The donation will generally cover the entire cost of removal!  How much better can it get? With its nonprofit status and 16-plus years of deconstruction and kitchen-removal experience, TRP is the only company that can offer this sweet a deal.

If the project involves a very large kitchen with expensive cabinets and appliances, an appraisal may be required (appraisals are mandatory for donations of $5,000 or more). TRP will provide you with a list of independent appraisers.

The TRP-Certified Deconstruction Contractor for Long Island, Advanced Restoration Corporation, building deconstruction crews cover finished floors and openings to other rooms with plastic or other appropriate protective materials to minimize dust. If you want additional work done while our crew is there (for example, removal of wall coverings, windows, finished floors or recessed lighting), TRP will provide you with a separate quotation for the work.

Tags: used building materials, the reuse people, kitchen, kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation, kitchen demo, donate matyerials, new york, advanced restoration corporation, building deconstruction, trp, longisland, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, demo kitchen, bathroom demo, demo bathroom

Were You Impacted by the Heavy Winds on Long Island?

Posted on Mon, May 10, 2010 @ 11:18 AM

 

Strong winds hit the New York area this weekend, causing property damage to some homes and businesses throughout parts of Long Island.

Falling trees and limbs cause hundreds of millions of dollars of damage each year, as well as personal injuries and deaths. Windstorms and ice storms are leading causes of such damage and injuries.

Tree-related damage is usually apparent. Limbs crashing through a roof or onto automobiles or power lines are hard to miss. Sometimes the damage is so severe that entire homes are destroyed. This is especially likely to happen when large trees are torn out of the ground and topple onto a house, crashing through the structure or knocking it off its foundation.

Some trees are also notorious for aggressively sending out roots that can damage the foundation of a house, buckle sidewalks or plug up septic systems, forcing homeowners to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.

The kinds of trees in a yard, their proximity to a house and the care they receive all affect safety and the potential for damage or personal injury.

Some potential problems are easy to spot. These include:

-Cracks in the trunk or major limbs.
-Hollow and decayed trees.
-Trees that look one-sided or lean significantly.
-Branches hanging over the house near the roof.
-Limbs in contact with power lines.
-Mushrooms growing from the bark, indicating a decayed or weakened stem.
-V-shaped forks rather than U-shaped ones. V-shaped are more likely to split.
-Crossing branches that rub or interfere with one other.

Tree care professionals, including arborists, can also examine trees for more subtle signs of trouble and take care of any problems, such as the need to cut down a tree or prune limbs that might be too big, too high, or too dangerous for a homeowner to take down. Arborists can also help save trees and limbs.

Homeowners, though, represent the first line of defense. Regularly examine trees and check for damage or other trouble signs and take corrective action if necessary, either on your own or with the help of an expert.

Proper pruning
Good pruning can prevent many problems. Prompt removal of diseased, damaged or dead plant parts helps limit the spread of harmful insects and disease, as well as reduce the possibility of future storm damage. Pruning can also have other benefits. For instance, pruning a dense canopy reduces its mass while permitting better air circulation and sunlight penetration. Pruning also helps provide proper shape and improves the health and vigor of the plant.  Do not over prune, a practice called hat racking, as this will significantly weaken a tree.


Experts offer these pruning tips:

  • Check local tree regulations prior to pruning or tree removal.
  • Avoid pruning branches flush to the trunk. Doing so removes not only the limb but some of the trunk wood, opening the plant to possible decay or insect damage.
  • Begin by making a cut partway through the bottom of any limb to be trimmed, a few inches from the trunk. Then cut through the limb just above the first cut. This ensures that when the limb falls, it will not tear off a long strip of bark on the way down.
  • Finish by cutting off the few inches sticking out from the trunk. Be sure to leave the "branch collar," the swollen area of trunk tissue that forms around the base of a branch. Leaving the branch collar protects the main trunk from damage.


After a Storm
The type of care you give after a storm should depend on a tree's age, the extent and type of damage. 

To care for storm damaged trees:

  • Plan ahead before deciding what to do with fallen trees. 
  • In general, it is best to reset only smaller trees, since large trees will be weakened and may fall again.
  • Decide what to do with tree stumps. 
  • If you are going to leave them, cut them off flush with the ground. 
  • If you plan to remove them, leave four feet of stump standing. 
  • Removal will be cheaper and easier if stumps can be pulled out instead of dug out.
  • Cut off broken or torn limbs to avoid unnecessary bark stripping.
  • When straightened, uprooted trees will require bracing for a long time. 
  • Before you reset a tree, cut, smooth and paint all jagged and irregular root breaks. 
  • Water the tree well and fertilize. 
  • Do not remove guy wires or braces for two years.
  • After repairing trees, continue to care for them.  Check soil moisture regularly.  
  • Prune a damaged tree just enough to balance the loss of roots. 
  • Cut out broken, diseased and malformed branches to give the tree a desirable shape.

If you have property damage to your home or business and need assistance, please contact Advanced Restoration's staff at (800) 693-6263. Advanced Restoration Corporation serves Nassau and Suffolk County, and the New York Metro area.  

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Town of Babylon to Compete In Global Green Challenge

Posted on Sun, May 02, 2010 @ 03:28 PM

 

The town of Babylon, NY (a Long Island suburb of New York City) has been chosen to participate in a prestigious Global Green Competition organized by Sir Richard Branson.

The town is one of 15 municipalities worldwide chosen in the first wave the Carbon War Room’s Green Capital Global Challenge. The Carbon War Room is a non-profit organization aimed at identifying opportunities to cut costs and carbon emissions. It was co-founded by the Virgin Group’s Branson and six other entrepreneurs.

The challenge is a two-year program seeking to boost capital and resources into city-led efficiency initiatives. Babylon was chosen due to the popularity of its Long Island Green Homes program, which provides low-interest loans to town homeowners who wish to make their houses more energy efficient. The program has been used an example for other municipalities to follow.

Along with Babylon, participant cities include Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Gainesville, Fla., New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; London; Birmingham, England; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The competition is aimed at driving the cities to find ways to reduce energy costs, create green jobs and improve the quality of life for their residents.

“In this time of uncertainty around the ability to resolve our governments to lead the planet to low-carbon prosperity, it is up to businesses and cities to step up and assume responsibility,” Branson said in a statement. “Mayors are the entrepreneurs of the civic world who realize their pivotal role in the fight against climate change.”

The challenged kicked off at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and will run until the summer of 2012. Results will be announced then in London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A second wave of cities will also be named by the end of this year.

Babylon town officials said they were psyched to be able to participate in a program along with such big cities like London, Copenhagen and New York City.

“Working with Carbon War Room, we will establish program discipline, uniform loan products and demand drivers that will result in unprecedented market penetration of energy efficiency,” Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone said. “To be doing this in the company of larger cities, like our neighbor New York, will be a major game changer.”

by Michael H. Samuels LI Business News
Published: April 28, 2010

Tags: long island, dki, green, green building, town of babylon, long island green homes program, advanced restoration corporation, green construction, go green, town of babylon long island green homes program

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